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Pediatrician concerned childhood obesity rising as students learn from home

Virtual schooling means regular exercise virtually disappears in many households. Here are ways you can keep your child active.

HOUSTON — With the last school year shutting down early, and extracurricular activities canceled, pediatrician Dr. Mona Eissa says a large number of her patients have gained weight.

“This is definitely very alarming,” Eissa said, “because the weight gain can lead to so many other health problems.”

She blames household changes and various stresses during the pandemic for the increasing number of child obesity cases.

Eissa, who runs a weight management program for children, says getting back on track should be a family affair.

“Include your whole household because everyone in the home should follow those healthy changes,” she said.

Her advice?

  • Allow children to help with meal preparation, and eat meals as a family
  • Avoid purchasing unhealthy foods and snacks
  • Exercise together
  • Make the most of breaks during virtual learning, by stretching or dancing
  • Get adequate and quality sleep

In addition, Eissa said kids should not miss yearly check-ups with their pediatrician since they play an important role in assessing weight gain, and other health issues.

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